Two footed tackles

The recent two-footed tackles from Kompany (sent off) and Glen Johnson (not sent off) have caused quite a lot of controversy and discussion this week in football circles with opinion seemingly divided regarding the decision to send off Vincent Kompany during Sunday’s FA Cup fixture versus Man United.

Given it’s a hot topic I felt like using a blog post to get across my opinion, and my opinion is that the referee was correct to send off Kompany on Sunday and Johnson should have been sent off last night.

I accept that tackling is a huge part of the game and I would hate for the physical nature of the game to diminish any further but we must draw a line somewhere and two footed tackles should result in a red card, intended force or not.

Firstly, we need to avoid the potential for there to be judgement to be made when a two-footed tackle is used – whether the player wins the ball or not should not be a deciding factor because you’re then opening it up for players to think they can use two feet to tackle. A two-footed tackle increases the chances of a player being seriously injured.

If I play in the Premiership and I break my leg I get immediate medical attention. I get first aid, I get oxygen, I get my leg seen to immediately and I’m on my way to hospital in a short matter of time. If I play in a local Saturday league (which I do) and someone chances their arm with a two-footed lunge which breaks my leg I’m not likely to get first aid, or oxygen or anything other than an agonising 30-45 minute wait for an ambulance or helicopter to arrive and take me to hospital – time which could seriously impact on my ability to play again.

Secondly, when is there ever a valid need for a two-footed challenge to be used? I accept that players need to leave the floor to challenge but two feet? I don’t think that’s needed and you only ever see a player use it where they’re really struggling to make a tackle, which is where the danger comes in.

We don’t have separate rules for grassroots football & Premiership football but it is for the good of the game and for the safety of players that two-footed tackles must be thoroughly discouraged and punished in the game of football.


About Simon
Grassroots Football Coach

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